M&T Shop Building: Installing the Second Floor

This week was all about two things: clean up from the packing party and begin installing the second floor.

We are using reclaimed 2”-thick barn flooring that Luke brought up with the frame. This stuff has lovely patina that fits in just perfectly with the rest of the shop. Despite its beauty, we pretty quickly realized that there were weaknesses throughout the boards that we didn’t trust to hold our weight. To overcome this, we decided to lay this material as subfloor (and, therefore, first floor ceiling) and then bridge the wild variations of the worn top surface with tongue and groove OSB before laying new wide pine top floor. This will enable us to use the original boards untouched but provide us a fresh (and stout) floor.

We made good progress in only a day or two but started coming up short toward the end which forced us to get creative. Fortunately, I have a small pile of 1”-thick subfloor from my house restoration (still underway) that was unusable in its original capacity. We cleaned the boards while trying to not think about the 200-year-old biological sludge we were washing off. Once dry, these 1” boards were laid in the last section of open floor. New 7/8” boarding boards were laid on top of these (separated by tar paper) to make up the thickness of the rest of the floor.

Before Mike and I finished laying the last of the subfloor, though, I spent some time fabricating and installing a support member for the stair stringers. I used a vintage round spruce joist and hewed a flat for the subfloor to sit on. The original hewn flat (adjacent to the floor’s flat) will catch the stringers.

I cut some beefy tenons with my Silky Katanaboy 650 (because why not?) and scribed them onto the beams. I cut the notches and chopped the waste with a chisel and mallet. It was a satisfying thing to slip the tenons in and see the carefully fit shoulders hug the irregular and warped beams. 

With this in place, we proceeded to finish laying the last pieces of subfloor. 

The result can be seen in the video below...

Each step in this shop construction project is so exciting. The space is beginning to take shape and some of our stuff is already permanently moved in.



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